Minimum Tetra Kite

Posing In Warm Gusty Air

With the third and final version of the Minimum Tetra kite made up in bright purple, it was time to get some images...

A suitable sea breeze was blowing in from the south-west, down at a local beach. However, I decided to drop in at a nearer inland reserve to see if conditions would suit.

In fact, on getting out of the car, the breeze was pretty much the same in speed and direction as the online weather station was reporting down at the coast.

At shoulder height, my wind meter reported about 11 kph gusting to 17 kph. A little light for this zippy little kite, but it was worth a shot. Also, as usual, there would be a few more kph available some meters above the tree-tops. Particularly at this location as I have discovered from experience.

MBK Minimum Tetra kite darts off to the right.Tiny kites just do as they like sometimes!
MBK Minimum Tetra kite darts off to the right.Tiny kites just do as they like sometimes!

After an easy launch, the Minimum Tetra kite did tend to sink out from time to time. But the gusts were quite sufficient to get all the video and stills that were needed.

(Take a look at the Making Paper Kites e-book for a bunch of more advanced kites - using just paper and tape.)

Flights started with just a few meters of polyester thread out, for the close-up shots. Eventually around 30 meters (100 feet) of thread was used to illustrate the little kite soaring at suitably impressive heights over the trees. Mind you, creating an illusion of great height is easy with such a tiny craft!

The single-cell Tetra could stay up with just the weight of the paper winder holding it, as the thread draped over my kite gear bag. The kite just has so little sail area, it hardly pulls at all! From habit though, I generally held the thread with the heavy bag placed just down-wind of the winder.

A kite this small struggles to pull even 200 feet of thread taut, over it's entire wind range. However, if you make one for yourself, you'll find just 100 feet of thread provides so much good flying. The kite looks high on that length!

A video with some zoom was taken as the tiny Tetra glided about near a large bushy tree. Very convincing for those who might be wondering if the thing does actually fly! A distant helicopter threatened to steal the show but can hardly be heard (or seen) in the clip.

It was a short but satisfying outing. Photographic mission accomplished!

Minimum Tetra Kite Gallery

Click or tap on any photo below to start up the gallery viewer...

MBK Minimum Tetra kite 1 - 1.
MBK Minimum Tetra kite 1 - 2.
MBK Minimum Tetra kite 1 - 3.


Don't forget to take a look at the Making Paper Kites e-book for a bunch of more advanced kites - using just paper and tape.

FREE E-Book!

I'm referring to Simplest Dowel Kites, my popular kite-making download. It's a printable PDF file. Make a diamond, delta or sled. Each kite is capable of flying hundreds of feet up for hours on end.

Could you do me just a small favor though?

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  • A "flight report of the month" (selected from my own flying logs)

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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

What's New!

  1. Tiny light wind newspaper kites

    Jul 09, 20 08:25 PM

    As a child (around 6) one of my parent's friends with children near my age took us outside and taught us how to make the smallest of light-wind kites from

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Wind Speeds

Light Air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2

Gentle ...
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3

Moderate ...
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4

Fresh ...
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5

Strong ...
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7

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